For the past month (and next two months) I have been living in a suburb of Fez for Community Based Training (CBT). CBT time is very structured and intense and reminds me of boot camp – where so many things are thrown at you at one time your mind is close to bursting. Our days are filled with language and cultural learning, spending time with our host families, practicing Peace Corps ‘stuff’ for when we will be at our assigned sites and trying to come to terms with the reality of living in a new country with new foods and new customs.
For me, many of these cultural and new custom concepts have been very easy to adapt to. The main struggles currently are getting enough sleep and learning the language.
I thought I’d share with my readers what my daily schedule is like:
7:15 am – Wake up/Get Dressed/Eat Breakfast
8:10 am – Head out for 15 min walk to my LCFs house (Language and Cultural Facilitator)
8:30 – 12:30 – Language class
12:30 – head home for nap/lunch
1:00 – 2:00 pm – greet family/check notes for things I might be able to say to them/NAP!!
2:15 pm – Lunch is served — it’s the largest meal of the day and always delicious
2:40 pm – head back to LCFs house
3:00 – 5:30ish – Script and/or cultural training
6:30ish – arrive home and hang out with the family
7:30 – 9:00 pm – eat Kaskrut (traditionally snack time – but my family doesn’t eat dinner so this is our dinner), watch Turkish soap opera and try to learn new words
9:00 -10:30 pm – study/yoga/me time
10:30 – 1:00 am – attempt to go sleep; my family usually goes to sleep around midnight and it’s very noisy with a baby, 2-year-old and 13-year-old plus dogs and cats outside
This is our schedule Monday – Friday. We have language class and check-in on Saturday mornings and then the rest of the day off. Sunday’s are free day’s as well and described as ‘Self-Directed Learning’ days.
I’m fortunate that my host family has had other PCVs stay with them and they understand the language strangle and the need for study/private time, while also helping me out with new words and proper sentence structure. Getting used to sleeping with massive noise around me has been a struggle but I’m getting better at it (or my body is just exhausted). I typically sleep 9-10 hours on Saturday’s and it’s like heaven.
When we are at our assigned sites our schedules will be our own. There will be no structure. I’ve already determined that I’ll need to create a schedule for myself to keep from reverting to my introvert tendencies. Next week we will get a taste of what that will be like as we will travel to our sites for a week. We find out on Monday, Oct 31 where we will be for the next two years and I’m so very excited! Stay tuned for more!!